Artist Spotlight: Megan Kelly

Where are you from / currently live?

MK: I am originally from a small town up north called Patterson. I currently live in Los Angeles.

watermelonCould you give us a brief overview of your art background (when you first became interested in art, education, work history, etc…)

MK: I have always been interested in drawing, but it wasn’t until I watched my first bugs bunny cartoon that I decided I wanted to become an animator. I went to college at San Jose State to join their Animation / Illustration program, called the ShrunkenHeadmen Club. While in the program I was lucky to meet people working in the industry through the Acme program and through them I got my first job working as a Layout Artist on the Simpsons Movie at Rough Draft Studios. Since then, I worked on the Futurama DVD’s and then American Dad where I am currently an Assistant Director

Describe some of the jobs you have done professionally how they have helped develop your artistic skills.

MK: Character Layout and Storyboarding taught me to loosen up and try to add as much life in my drawings as possible. As an Assistant Director I’ve learned a lot about the process of making an animated show. Learning what happens after the drawing is done (animatic, timing, color) has changed the way I board. I also found that good time management is your best friend.

Has working around so many other GDG artists influenced your art style? If so, in what way?

mewecanMK: They haven’t influenced my style as much as they’ve just influenced me to draw more. Looking at all the diverse beautiful drawings that the women of GDG produce just makes me want to create more! I’m constantly inspired by those around me.

What is your personal take away as a woman drawing pinup art of women?

MK: I never really thought it was weird or odd that I enjoyed drawing pinup art. It’s just something I’ve always done since I saw my first pinup in a comic. I think you should draw what you like, what inspires you, and pinups always seemed so cool to me. They are sexy but in control and I like that.

Where do you find your inspiration for your art?

MK: Other artist’s work inspires me. I like looking at different styles and ideas and it usually sparks something in me and makes me want to draw. Most of the pinups I draw are nerdy things that I enjoy. I draw a lot from books I am reading or shows and movies I watch.

usfDo you have a preference between working with digital or traditional methods? Could you give a couple reasons why?

MK: I am not an artist that quickly sketches something and have it come out perfect. I like to noodle with my drawings, get ideas as I am drawing. So digital has been really great with that. I like that I can erase with ease or change the size and angles of things at a whim. I would go through so much paper and erasers before I started using digital, so I am happy I can save some trees now. Also, my style is more stylized simplistic shapes so finishing my work in illustrator helps me get those really clean lines.

Are there any artistic disciplines (sculpture, painting, photography, fashion, etc, anything….) that you have a passion for?

MK: I sometimes like to sculpt things, usually with whatever’s handy as opposed to working with clay. I have made a few masks out of newspaper and tape for Halloween.

Is there a type of art that you‘ve always wanted to learn?

MK: I would love to learn how to do paper art.

Based on your professional experiences, do you have any advice for aspiring young women artists?

MK: Always ask questions and don’t be afraid of notes on your work. You are never too good to learn. As for your personal work, just draw what makes you happy not what you think will make others happy.

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